Generally we enjoy a road trip. The kids are at a pleasant age where sitting in the car for 7 hours is a breeze. And thank goodness because flying anywhere for a family of four is becoming financially impossible, more so if you’re in Durban every five minutes like we are. But the best part of these long trips is that it gives me time to read. Sad state of affairs when the only time a person has to read is when they are in a moving vehicle, but hey I’ll take what I can get.
So we went down to the South Coast this weekend to spend time with my family and I found myself with approximately 14 free hours to read! Granted, I had to stop now and then to actually make conversation with the driver, to tear the kids apart when they were arguing, to answer their 565734 questions and to listen to my song when it came on the radio. But for the most, I had my head stuck in my book. Well my virtual book, thanks to e-reading devices.
I like light hearted, romantic, funny books. I don’t really read nonfiction except for the Bible and auto biographies of people I am interested in. I used to read very serious books a few years back, but I realised I could not cope. When you are still thinking about a book a week/a month / a year later and you’re freaked out by things that you read in a work of FICTION (come on, it’s not even real and you’re STILL freaked out), then you know your over analysing mind needs to stick to the light hearted stuff. I remember the very day I made this discovery about myself after reading yet another one of Lisa Gardner’s books, I just couldn’t handle it. It’s the same reason why I don’t watch horror movies.
I read The Fault in Our Stars, mainly because of all the hype around the book and movie; if you haven’t heard of this book/movie, you are surely living under a rock. I sort of knew the story line – who doesn’t – and I didn’t want to read it initially because I knew it would make me sad and miserable, but I read the first few pages and was sucked in. Yes, it is sad, and yes I was miserable after reading it. But it was beautiful. It was so… human, for want of a better word. It perfectly portrayed the humanness of dealing with illness, love and hope. I am still thinking about this book, but not in a freaked out sort of way. I think I will watch the movie too.
Then I read The Pact by Jodi Picoult. Hmm. Um. I don’t know where to start. Firstly, I was gripped by the story so it must have been good, no? But perhaps it was like a car accident on the highway. No matter how much you don’t want to look, you still slow down and look. It was too intense. It freaked me out about having a teenager in the next few years, it freaked me out about jail, it freaked me out about the legal system – even though technically this was the American legal system, but still. I am still thinking about this book, VERY much in a freaked out sort of way. And I am still so heartbroken for the teenage boy in this book, as if he is real. Utterly gutted like I knew him!
This post is not a book review, it’s more about the type of books that are good for me. I know I must not read books that are too close to home… so no books about children been kidnapped or abused or anything like that. No books about the boogey-man and murders and people being unfairly treated. Basically I need to stick to soppy romantic novels which all end with the words “and they all lived happily ever after.”
Am I sad that this would exclude almost all of the books on the New York Time’s Best Sellers list? Am I sad that I’m probably missing out on some of the best literature of our generation? Am I embarrassed that I am a sucker for a fairytale ending? Am I angry about the fact that I am a feeler and that even made up stories affect me? Not at all! I’d much rather leave a book feeling warm and fuzzy inside, than not sleeping at night and looking over my shoulder like a lunatic for something that isn’t even real.
So, any other warm and fuzzies out there? Which warm and fussy novelists can you recommend for a pushover like myself?